I entered the third ceremony with the mantra “In trust and surrender, with humility and respect”. I drank a chalice of Noya Rao and a full shotglass of ayahuasca and sat in a meditation pose almost the entire time. Any skeptical thoughts I gently ushered from my mind with the mantra. I was finally ready to receive the wisdom of Manuela and the plants.
Chacruna, which contains DMT, growing on the land
Soon after Manuela started singing to me, I experienced two distinct full body shivers, ‘pings’ of energy, about 30 seconds apart. It felt like a seed being planted deep within my being, or perhaps a door being gently prised open, or both.
What then followed I might best describe as ‘psychic surgery’. It felt like Manuela and the plants were walking dusty corridors of my mind, inviting and encouraging me to look into places that I hadn’t (or hadn’t wanted to) for a long time.
In entering these rooms in my mind, I could choose to relive/reexperience past situations that I had often simplistically labelled ‘traumatic, avoid!’. The reexperiencing was not retraumasiting; rather, I was able to observe situations from what felt like a safe and useful distance and understand that, yes, while there was trauma or sadness here, there was also love, joy and beauty. It was as if a teacher was showing me a video of a previous intense/traumatic situation, and was gently asking me, “What have you missed so far about this? What more do you want to learn from this?”. In this way, Manuela and the plants don’t do the healing; they do the showing, you do the healing — it’s a process that requires active participation, a lesson with a teacher. Having attended a number of psychotherapy sessions and done a couple of retreats that included group psychotherapy work, I can say for me the experience really was like having years of therapy in one night.
I understood that that way in which I have distanced myself from family and old friends is related to the way in which I have had a partial/incomplete view of certain family situations, whereas the truth is that there was love, joy and beauty in these situations as well as sadness/trauma. In having (re)observed and begun to integrate the positive side of these situations, I now feel able and excited to reopen communication with a number of people who I have lost touch with, who I believe will greatly appreciate this.
It is in this way that ayahuasca/Noya Rao were ‘visionary’ for me. The visions I received were the visions I needed to heal and progress, rather than what might be described as psychedelic eye candy. (Saying that, the strange and beautiful visions I have experienced though vapor DMT trips were useful in helping me drop my skepticism. Vapor DMT trips alerted me to the fact that there exist phenomena outside of conventional explanation — the further step was to accept the connection between those experiences/that realm, and Manuela’s work.)